Vica Nazi Propaganda Comics

Vica Defie l'Oncle Sam cover

The Vica Nazi Propaganda Comics is one of the collections we published in our October build. According to, Duke University’s Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library holds the only copies of this comic in the United States. The Nazi-controlled government in France produced the Vica comic during World War II as a propaganda tool against the Allied forces. The digital collection features the three published issues of the comic: Vica au Paradis de l’U.R.S.S, Vica contre le service secret anglais, and Vica défie l’Oncle Sam (representing the Allied forces: USSR, England, and US). The comics could support research in multiple disciplines, such as World War II history, French language and culture, popular media, comic arts, and propaganda.

We’d love to get feedback on this collection in the comments.

Our Mistitled LITA Presentation

Sean Aery and I presented on Saturday, October 18 at the LITA National Forum on our homemade “Tripod” platform for digital collections.  Here’s an embed of our Google slides:

We proposed this presentation back in February.  The original title, “A Faceted Browsing Approach to Duke’s Digital Collections,” stuck, but by October 18, we had maybe one reference to facets in the presentation.  I’m not sure what we should have called it.  Something about the “three ‘bilities” might have been good, but that slide (#21) didn’t exist until October 16.

CHANGELOG, 2008 Oct. 24

We posted a major build of the digital collections site today.  The focus of the build was a set of five new collections; I know Jill intends to publicize them here, so instead of the prolix titles I’ll deploy their “collectionID” values:  blake, esr, songsheets, strong and vica.  In addition, we returned the asl collection to the internet after a rather lengthy, post-Texis hiatus.  Since we focused on these great collections for this build, there are relatively few upgrades to the system to report, but I’ll list them here. Continue reading CHANGELOG, 2008 Oct. 24

Taking the blog for another spin

Since we are on a roll with team member introductions, I’ll take the blog for a spin and introduce myself.

I’m Thomas Crichlow, a Digital Projects Consultant/Web Designer at Duke University Libraries. I’ve worked with various portions of the Libraries’ websites since October 2005 and with the new Digital Collections system since October 2007.

My contributions to the Digital Collections Implementation Team are focused on the contextual pages that provide some of the background information related to each digital collection. I meet with the collection sponsors and help them develop and present their content.

Overall, the team has worked hard to create a common look and feel for our Digital Collections system while preserving the unique identity of each collection.

My favorite activities have been creating collection icons (how hard can it be to convey a collection’s identity in 60×60 pixels?) and creating slide shows on collection home pages highlighting compelling images (kudos to Joaquin Bueno for his contributions to slideshows).

Working with such great colleagues makes the job much easier and very enjoyable.

Keeping coordinated

Little Katie Chewing Tobacco, Duke Digital Collections

Will’s introduction of himself and of “megadata” inspired me to do an introduction, too. I’m Jill Katte, Coordinator of the Digital Collections Program in the Duke University Libraries. The Digital Collections Program currently focuses primarily on digitizing and publishing on-line our unique manuscripts, rare books, documentary photographs, historic advertisements, popular music, and much more, primarily from Duke’s Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library and University Archives (where I worked from 2002-2007). My main role is to move these digitization projects from the idea phase all the way through to completion. I serve as a planner, project manager, liaison, communicator, negotiator, and cheerleader.

Most of the digital collection project ideas come from curators, but some have been submitted by Duke faculty, staff, and visiting scholars. I collaborate with these folks to develop their ideas into project proposals. Once the proposals get approved, production of the digital collections is accomplished by a cross-functional group called the digital collections implementation team. Team members represent several departments in the Duke University Libraries: Mike Adamo and Brian Davis (Digital Production Center), Noah Huffman (RBMSCL), Rich Murray (Metadata & Cataloging), Will Sexton (Information Systems), Sean Aery and Tom Crichlow (Digital Projects), and me (Collections Services). It is truly a dream-team, and I’m so lucky to be a part of it.

New Digital Collections website and discovery system

I am pleased to announce that the new Digital Collections website and discovery system are live:

The success of this project would not have been possible without the hard work and outstanding abilities of Will Sexton and Sean Aery. I would also like to thank Tom Crichlow and Sarah Kahn for their excellent work migrating web-based content into the CMS and for re-designing the digital collections home pages.

The new site includes the following digital collections migrated from the Dynaweb system: Ad*Access, Emergence of Advertising in America, Historic American Sheet Music, Medicine and Madison Avenue, William Gedney Photographs and Writings, and the Guido Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection. In the coming months, all of our existing digitized collections, as well as new collections, will be added into this system.

The Digital Collections site will continue to evolve based on user feedback. We have received valuable comments from you about making the new site as effective and user-friendly as possible, and we welcome additional feedback. We also are working with the Digital Projects Dept. to conduct a formal usability test of the new interface this spring.

Stay tuned for updates on progress, upcoming digital collections, and a revised digital collections proposal process.